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Nikon D2Xs

d2x
Review Date: Jan 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,670.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Exceptional body craftsmanship, accurate colors, superb metering, great handling, dead-accurate AF.
Cons:
AWB system design is flawed. LCD display is awful by today's standards.

I have been shooting with the D200 for almost three years and I was only able to acquire a (used) D2x relatively cheap because of the arrival of the newer D3 model which somehow made most of the D2x owners allergic to their perfectly useable camera. Not that I'm complaining, though.

As far as handling goes, I knew that the D2x blows away the D200 before I even got it (I used to own an F5); while most users find the weight a deterrent, I--on the other hand--find this as a welcome advantage: it actually makes heavy lenses like the 70-200VR easier to handle, thus getting more keepers.

Regarding color reproduction, I can positively say that the D2x can produce colors more accurately than the D200; The D200 tends to bias colors to magenta. However, the D2x's Auto White Balance system is severly flawed for me to say that its color reproduction is otherwise perfect. Unlike the D200 where AWB is calculated TTL, the D2x also uses an external AWB sensor that sits close to the hot shoe...The system seemed infallible, until you get in the situation where you get mixed lighting and/or the light temperature hitting external sensor is different than that of the subject (e.g., the camera is in the shade while the subject is in full sun)...which happens in A LOT of situations. I really wish that there's an option to TURN OFF the external AWB sensor via a menu. Nikon probably learned that this was a stupid design all along, hence the sensor being absent in the D3.

Noise is pretty much absent up to ISO 400. There is little noise up to 800, and it goes really downhill quickly from there. Coming from the camera film era not too long ago, I can't really complain about what the D2x gives me. A lot of people are hung up on having no noise on high ISO when during the film era, ISO 400 in slide film is already "high speed."

Comparing the AF between the D2x and the D200: while there might be an imperceptible difference between the two in terms of AF speed, the former trounces the latter in terms of AF ACCURACY. Part of the reason is that D200 only has ONE cross-type sensor which makes the rest of its sensors except in exceptional light. The D2x, on the other hand, has NINE cross-type sensors...so regardless of how the camera is oriented, it can detect contrast vertically and horizontally.

If there's one other negative aspect I can point out with the D2x, it would be its LCD display. The angle of view, refresh rate, and the color accuracy is awful compared to the D200.

Despite the flaws (mainly the AWB and the LCD), I simply cannot fault the D2x and until I can afford to buy a (used) D3, I think the D2x will suit me fine.


 
Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye

ef15mmf_28_1_
Review Date: Jan 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp. nicely built.
Cons:
noisy. excessive color fringing at wide apertures

when i got my 15mm, it needed to get serviced immediately for adjustments because it back-focused on my 10D on distances going towards infinity. you'd think that on lens like this with large DOF you'd never need it...

since the adjustment, i have to say that i am very pleased with this lens. sharp at all apertures. my only complaint is its excessive color fringing at wide apertures compared to other primes i have...but given the nature (and relatively affordable price) of this lens, i probably shouldn't be complaining about color fringing ;-)